Monday, November 8, 2010
Uruguay vs Romania - Rugby World Cup 2011 Qualifier
The match is the most important rugby match anywhere in the world this month with the winner of the two match series to claim the twentieth and final place at Rugby World Cup 2011. The first match is crucial as the winner will have an advantage in the second match because it is the overall winner on aggregate who will qualify for New Zealand 2011. In qualification for France 2007 Uruguay lost the first match 12-5 to Portugal in Lisbon but won the second 18-12 in Montevideo. The aggregate result meant Portugal won 24-23 and qualified for its first ever Rugby World Cup. This time around, Uruguay will host the first match and are well aware of the consequences of failing to not only win but to win well.
Uruguay got this far by defeating Asia 2 - Kazakhstan at the same venue in July. Romania defeated Africa 2 - Tunisia in the other qualifyer. The matches were similar with the winners both outplaying their opponents to comfortably get through to the Rugby World Cup Final Place Play-Off. Unlike Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, South America is not awared a direct place at Rugby World Cups. Hence, Uruguay despite being the top placed South American qualifier had to then face off against North America 2 - the USA and because they were defeated they had to play Kazakhstan and now Romania.
It will be only the third ever clash between the two countries and the first ever in Uruguay. In the previous two meetings Romania won both. The first was in 2008 with the europeans winning 10-6 and the second in 2009 with Romania winning 17-11. The margins of 4 and 6 points suggest that neither side should be considered superior to the other especially considering that both matches were played in Bucharest. Romania have competed at every Rugby World Cup too date but were unable to directly qualify for New Zealand 2011 after finishing third behind Georgia and Russia in the European phase of qualification. Sadly, Uruguay will be without its best player - secondrower / backrower Rodrigo Capo Ortega of Castres in the Top 14, who because of differences with the URU wishes to not represent his country.
with thanks www.uru.org.uy